"A JOURNEY of HOPE"
The theme of the HIV/AIDS congress conducted by the Botswana Union Mission Women's Ministries Department was about making a difference and not forgetting that there is always hope for those who are living with AIDS.
The conference was held in June in Gaborone, Botswana, and was sponsored by NACA (National AIDS Coordinating Agency), a Botswana government agency dealing specifically with HIV/AIDS program. Over 620 women, men, youth, and pastors attended the conference; delegates attended from Botswana as well as from Zimbabwe, Malawi, and South Africa.
Susan Williams the Women's Ministries director for Botswana, says that the focus of the congress not only addressed HIV/AIDS education but also focused on parent-child relationship building and self-worth. She added that, "We have been bombarded with AIDS education, yet on the issue of behavior change we have been making slow improvements."
There exists a major gap between parents and their children with regards to their sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS. Communication within the home has also become difficult for most teenagers. At a recent program held with the youth, most of them indicated that they would rather discuss their problems with their friends than with their parents. Williams feels that if we want to make a difference we will need to address these issues in a proactive manner.